So high

in their leafy silence
over Kells, over Durrow,
as the Vikings
raged south -
the old monks
made the alphabet
they dipped iron
into azure and
indigo: they gave strange
wings to their os
and es: their vowels
clung on with
talons and the thin
ribbed wolves
that had gone north
left their frozen winters
and were lured back
to their consonants.